BZE relies on its dedicated and skilled volunteers for much of our research and public education initiatives. All our volunteers deserve an award! Today we are recognising those people that have excelled themselves in 2012. A big  thank you to them and to all the people that have volunteered for BZE this year.


QLD Branch

Rookie of the Year – James Pauly
James Pauly was dragged into BZE by a friend in March and was very shy to begin with, a small voice with a great smile. Since then, James has started a regular monthly presentation at the Indooroopilly Library, has spoken at Zeitgeist events, and has been interviewed on radio 4ZZZ (and was brilliant)! Congratulations James for being our “Rookie of the Year”.

QLD Founder Award – Ngaire McGaw
Those of you that don’t know Ngaire are possibly living under a rock. Without Ngaire, BZE may never have come to Brisbane to do the first training session back in 2010. Ngaire was also responsible for the success of the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan Brisbane launch, which had an audience of over 1000 people. Ngaire tirelessly gives 110%, to the environment community, constantly getting articles in printed press, running workshops, hosting film nights and much, much more. Thank you Ngaire for everything.

Public Engagement No.1 – Dorotee Braun
Congratulations to Dorotee Braun who did the most presentations and stalls throughout 2012. It was a huge effort by Dorotee who spoke to varied groups including Probus clubs, Greens groups and more. What would we do without you!?

Voice of the Year – John Price
Without a doubt, John Price has the most soothing and professional voice that has come into the BZE rehearsal room. He should be on radio, and we look forward to hearing him there explaining his passion for the environment, the need to save it for his grandkids, and how BZE provides the solution everyone has been waiting for.

Admin Superstars – Rachel Aubrey, Colin Stewart, Shiralee Maguire, Caroline Rentel, Iwona Kemp, Nicole Caruso

Without the reliable help of these volunteers, our branch manager would not be as reliable for all of our other several hundred volunteers. Thanks Rach, Colin, Shiralee, Caroline, Iwona and Nicole for your constant support, being reliable, and keeping a smile on our faces day-to-day in our wonderful office.

Quick Draw McGraw – Northern NSW BZE Group
The Northern NSW group blew our minds earlier this year. After a local catch-up and rehearsal, the group stated their next goal was to create their own concentrated solar thermal model. And that they did, IN ONE WEEKEND! The model shone brightly at the anti-coal seam gas rally and was a huge hit. Congratulations guys on being the winners of the “Quick Draw McGraw” award.

NSW Branch

Our prizes were courtesy of Lisette Scollay, who volunteered in the office for 2 days a week for three months before moving to Melbourne. Lisette was a great help doing admin tasks, working on stalls, and donated three bottles of wine for our most active presenters and stall-holders of 2012. 

The most active presenter and stallholder was Chris Lee, who through an arrangement with the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) was able to talk about solar thermal technology to teams of corporate volunteers hosted by NPWS. Chris also helped John Mobbs to design and construct the solar thermal plant model that make our stalls so effective. Their design has been copied by BZE branches all over Australia. 

Second place was Geoff Cameron, who may well be our most consistent presenter, always available to do a presentation when needed, even if it involves a road trip! Geoff was a panel member for several of the Nature Conservation Council's regional Clean Energy Forums this year; another highlight was his two library talks, one of which featured his much-awaited encounter - his first in dozens and dozens of talks - with a vocal climate denier. Geoff's thorough preparation and ability to logically and clearly set out his arguments meant he was able to shift the audience member from obvious hostility to sitting in silence through the presentation. 

Third place was Terry McBride, who can only be described as "intrepid". Terry's commitment to climate activism was a big boost not just to NSW but to our ACT branch, as Terry travelled twice to Canberra to help them pull off some important stalls at the CSIRO open day and the Electric Vehicle festival. He also went to South Australia and helped with the Repower Port Augusta Campaign. Like all our winners, Terry has also made a great contribution through training and mentoring new volunteers in how to engage with the public and clearly explain climate change and the solutions that we need to roll out. 

Honourable mentions went to Aaron Morellini and Nigel Hancock, our most energetic new recruits of the year, who were both unable to attend our end-of-year event because they were on a tour of NSW’s mining industry with the student environment network. Aaron and Nigel started in August and October respectively and both jumped right in, with Aaron doing the Walk for Solar from Port Augusta to Adelaide, and Nigel a TV star at his first public talk in Wagga Wagga. 

Vic Branch and Research

Death by 1000 PowerPoint slides, for the most presentations in 2012 - John Liddell

John was a star presenter here in Victoria, giving around 20 talks to Rotary Clubs all over Melbourne, and doing all the setting up and follow-up himself. He also regularly helps on stalls and with other BZE events.

Nothing says commitment like a leg iron to the desk - most volunteer hours at the office in 2012 - Bruce Whimpey
Volunteering as a researcher on the Zero Carbon Australia (ZCA) Buildings Plan, Bruce has been coming in to the BZE Vic office day in, day out for most of this year. He is a truly valuable asset to our research team.

The Peter Garrett award - most midnight oil burnt on BZE projects - Alastair Leith
Alastair has helped with a number of projects this year. He has upgraded the design of our monthly newsletter, and started streaming our monthly discussion group online, so it can reach a wider audience. He has also stayed up very late in doing many of these things! He is working with another volunteer, Peter Castaldo, in setting up a film team in 2013.

Front Office Stalwarts - John Fisher and Gerald Foxhall
As surely as night follows day, John and Gerald will be turning up at the BZE office every week. They have both been doing so for years, providing essential help to our admin and financial management staff. Their reliability, friendly faces and witty comments means we look forward to their company. John has also tried his hand at presenting, and has been travelling the state presenting to U3As.

The "Solar Thermal" Model Citizen Award - most stall hours logged - Vicky Fysh
Vicky stepped up this year and became BZE Victoria's first branch convenor, seeing the successful new branch through its difficult early stages with energy and commitment. She has also spent a lot of time on BZE stalls.

The Elvis Award - less conversation, more action - Liem Truong
Liem is the kind of volunteer that one dreams about. He came in to make a major contribution to two major projects in 2012, the Laggard to Leader Report launch events and our first ever Annual Report. In both cases he came through with the goods with a minimum of fuss.

The Miwa Tominaga award for volunteer service to BZE - Miwa Tominaga
Miwa has been volunteering a BZE for several years, since the very early days. She works on the Monthly Discussion Group and the Radio Show as well as helping with the ZCA buildings research. Without her a large part of BZE would be falling over.

The Alan Jones memorial award for excellence and integrity in radio broadcasting - Vivien Langford
Vivien has been working consistently hard all year to deliver the Beyond Zero Radio Show every week. Together with the rest of the fantastic radio team she has boosted the quality of the show and given voice to those usually ignored by the corporate media.

Data monkey award - Luke Neeson
Another one of our weekly angels, Luke has been coming in to the office every week to help staff and volunteers with their IT issues. He has also been instrumental in maintaining and upgrading BZE’s data management system. He remains patient and calm even while others are freaking out and computers are crashing all around.

Land Use Research Award - Adele Neale
Adele has been helping our land use research team throughout 2012. She was one of the two main authors of BZE’s impressive and detailed submission to the National Food Plan and is setting up a social media presence for communicating our land use work. If you’re on Twitter, follow @BZELandUse.

Visual Basic for dummies award (transport research) - Robin Friday
Robin, a long term transport research volunteer, didn’t know anything about Visual Basic at the beginning of 2012. After being given a “Visual Basic for Dummies” book he wrote a program in that language to calculate all of the construction costs required to build high speed rail across Australia. Wow!